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Date: Oct 21 1999 11:12:08 EDT
From: "Reef Ball's Interested List" <>
Subject: Reef Ball Update

Message #113

1) From Oman, an article in Al-Fahel (August 1999) about Reef Balls was published with color photos of fantastic growth and fish on Reef Balls. The project coordinator reports, “Our Reef Balls keep on growing…we have 30 more Reef Balls ready to go in and are waiting for the barge to be repaired to move them their designated locations. We plan to go out for a video/photographic trip in two weeks time to see the development over the last three months.”

2) UnderWater Magazine (The Association of Diving Contractors International) has an article on Reef Balls in the Fall 1999 issue, page 23.

3) We are upgrading our presence at the DEMA show (Dive Equipment and Marketing Association) this year to a 20 foot booth. Drop by and see us in Las Vegas January 18-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

4) At the 7th CARAH, we learned some important practical ideals for Reef Balls.

A) Fill some of your Reef Balls with suitable materials such as broken cinder blocks, natural rocks, left over pH neutralized concrete, small sized Reef Balls, etc. to gain added complexity for juvenile fish and increased diversity to the overall reef. Although the scientific investigation continues a good “guestimate” is that between 10-20% of the Reef Balls in each major cluster should contain this treatment to more closely mimic natural reefs.

B) Although sand foraging species (i.e. gag grouper) may benefit from sites where the Reef Balls are spread out, some studies are now showing better diversity on tightly packed clusters of Reef Balls. A practical approach may be to have a majority of your Reef Balls in clusters but to have some spread out and isolated for foraging species and other species that may prefer isolated Reef Balls.

C) From Japan, Terrax reported, “ A disadvantage is that concrete, once placed in the sea, elutes strongly alkaline components have a pH of 11 or higher and calcium hydroxide ions. The elution continues for a long time and changes the water making it unfit for fishery. This disturbs the natural marine ecology and disrupts the life of marine organisms. Concrete structures when placed in water elute calcium ions (Ca+) over an extended period, which reacts with carbon dioxide (CO2) to form calcium carbonate (CaC03). This can deposit on reefs, stones and conglomerates on the sea bottoms, to accelerate the shore burning.”

From this, we can conclude that the use of Reef Ball’s concrete formulations which avoids this problem from using regular concrete is essential not only to getting a natural growth on your Reef Balls but also to protect other parts of the Reef from shore burning.

Note from Terrax on “Shore Buring”: “Shore Burning is a phenomenon in which reefs, stones and conglomerates on the sea bottom are covered in a milky white calcium carbonate (CaCO3) with the result that organisms on the sea bottom lose their living environments. Once this happens the sea can no longer recyucle resources and cannot provide good fishery fields.”

More from the 7th CARAH scientific conference later…


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